When bad things happen….heroes will rise…..by love….

I’ll say it straight out. The past six months have been skubulos from all angles. I don’t get any of it. I don’t know why God allows bad things and I don’t know why people do horrible things.

The horrors of the past year make us gape in astonished fear. Sandy Hook broke me in a way national tragedy hasn’t done since 9/11. I’m have two elementary school kids who attend a public school. I fought my own fear and urge to take them home. I fought my urge to encase my children in armor plating and send them to school escorted by a tank. Forget the tank.  I wanted them escorted by the whole Justice League. My youngest expressed it perfectly when he said, “I wish the Avengers had been there to protect those kids”.

So do I. So do all of us.

Now, the Boston Horror. All of us probably fought the feelings of “I’ll never go to another public sporting event ever again. I’ll never be in a crowded place. I’ll avoid it all.”

I have to admit the same thoughts went through my head. I’m planning on going to the Pirates/Cardinals baseball game in Pittsburgh tomorrow night. The idea of hidden bombs makes me wonder if I should even go.

Then I remember, perfect love casts out fear.

I don’t know why God allows bad things to happen. I don’t know why He allowed sin and death in the world. It’s the great question of the ages. At 38 years old, I’ve realized I’m no better equipped to answer the question than when I was 18.

However, I’ve found comfort in the words of the theologian N.T. Wright. He makes point, while he doesn’t understand suffering either, Wright knows what God has DONE about the horror of the world.  He’s participated in it through His son, Jesus Christ. Our Lord felt suffering in its fullest degree on the cross when He said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He wasn’t quoting the Psalms just to give us a neat little theological tie in. Jesus expressed the utter horror, the utter terror of being alone, of feeling suffering, and fear. God felt fear. Christ drank fear in the Garden when blood came out of his sweat pores and begged the Father to let the cup pass from him. A neat theological package didn’t hold him on the road to the Cross. It was love. Love for the world. Love for us. Love for creation. He rushed in and God became human in every way.  Think about it. God was feeling pain, sorry and confusion.

At the Boston Horror, we saw perfect love casting out fear in the people who ran TOWARDS the explosions to help the injured. We saw perfect love cast out fear in the First Responders, the police, the fire department, and the marathon crew. We saw love in the runners who finished the race and then went to donate blood. They gave no thought to themselves. They only loved strangers who came to cheer them on.

Perfect love makes super heroes. Perfect love fights evil. Perfect Love wins. Always and forever. Perfect love, in the words of Bob Goff, just does. Love does. It wins. It fights. And it overcomes.

To the person or persons who did this. You don’t understand this concept at all . You don’t get it. In your hate, anger and sin, you think you’re some kind of hero or proven some kind of point. Guess what? Your point failed. You aren’t a hero.  The point of Love was proven by the real heroes of the day. Their actions will be long remembered and praised. Your hate will be a footnote to their love.

One day, I hope you understand why.


Dracula: Doing The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason
Catholic Imagination Series: How I started Writing Catholic Science Fiction And Fantasy
Musings on the Future of the Catholic Imagination Conference
About Jonathan Ryan

Jonathan Ryan is a novelist, blogger and columnist. His novel, 3 Gates of the Dead, published by Open Road Media, is in bookstores everywhere. The sequel, Dark Bride, will be out in April 2015

  • http://www.elizabethgaucher.com Elizabeth Gaucher

    A thoughtful post, Mr. Ryan. I’m not sure I’m there with you on the “win” but at least we can hold the bad to some kind of draw. I don’t feel like love is winning right now. But I generally reject win/lose language in most of my life, so I suppose it makes sense that I can’t really track this line of thinking.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • http://www.authorjonathanryan.com Jonathan Ryan

      Call me Jonathan. Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts. Believe me, I alternate between what I wrote and feeling the same as you. It depends on when you ask me….

  • http://www.elizabethgaucher.com Elizabeth Gaucher

    You bet. Anyone who wants to engage this in a reflective and thoughtful way has my admiration. Keep up the good work.

    • http://www.authorjonathanryan.com Jonathan Ryan

      You honor me. Thank you.

  • http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com Samantha

    I love how you connected the humanity of Jesus on the cross to those words, that are often treated as “neat theological tie-in.” That’s how I’ve heard it treated it most of my life. We need to remember that what Jesus did on the cross, he did as a human being.

    • http://www.authorjonathanryan.com Jonathan Ryan

      Thanks very much. Sorry I didn’t respond to your comment sooner. Been on the road.